Do you take ownership of your accomplishments? And truly know what success looks like for you?
Women are not renowned for flying the flag of self-promotion, and there are myriad reasons, perhaps intellectual, moral, or cultural. Indeed, demonstrating agentic qualities can be risky business. But how do you share your success if you don’t even recognise or acknowledge it in the first place?
It seems to be a matter of perception. My clients set themselves standards; but whereas men tend to recognise that meeting these standards is an achievement in itself, women often regard these standards as a benchmark below which they must not fall.
Does this mean that the standards set by my female clients are less ambitious? Not at all. It simply means that they are less likely to recognise their own success.
In other words, meeting one’s own expectations is the default, and only sub-standard outcomes are worthy of note. So it is the disappointments, and not the accomplishments, that take centre stage and receive attention and energy.
I’m curious as to how this relates to personality type and construction of self, but there does seem to be a gender divide. And this begs the question: why are we women so hard on ourselves? And to what extent does it reflect our biological makeup and/or our social environment?
Awareness is the first step to reclaiming a sense of balance, so next time you are faced with a challenge consider what shape success would take for you, how you would know it when you saw it, and how you might acknowledge it.
Through taking ownership of both our successes and our failures we open up a rich tapestry of experience: although success may be ephemeral we can continue to draw on its legacy. Self-affirmation nurtures the self, so take a moment to own your accomplishments, or your hard-won success will fade unheeded.